Any little thing in the day that reduces stress, makes life easier and decreases the amount of time spent on futile tasks is good, right? So here’s a simple addition to your apartment that will do all of the above.
When you walk through the door in the evening, you just want to shed the work day as quickly as possible. However, scattering things about is not a good option — your place looks scruffy and you have to find everything in the morning.
Cue the drop zone — a place to put keys, coins, sunglasses, wallet, train ticket, umbrella, handbag etc as soon as you walk in. You know where they are the next morning and, if there’s anything else you need to remember to take with you, just put it there as well.
A drop zone can be as simple as a small shelf or a designated area within your existing furnishings – or it can become a centre of organisational excellence.
To set one up, first think about how you will use it. With any kind of organisation, no matter how large or small, the key to making it work is to make it easy. If the zone is inconveniently placed or requires some action other than just flicking out the contents of your pockets, then it’s unlikely the system will be a success.
How you configure the drop zone will depend on how your apartment is decorated. If you have gone for a casual and homey look, then you could add hooks for your coats in winter and hats in summer. If you’re sleek, sophisticated and minimalist, you might want to keep things a little more streamlined.
A simple drop zone is possible in the most compact apartments. This idea uses only a small section of wall near the front door, but still looks attractive, integrated and works well.
Hang a mirror at eye level for final checks on the way out and fit two shelves or a box shelf below it. For some reason, two shelves work so much better than one aesthetically and, oddly, one shelf is a lot easier to bump into then two. These shelves cannot be wide — maximum width is about 12 centimetres otherwise they intrude too far into the space, The length is up to you but, in a small place, about 50 centimetres would probably be long enough.
Place a small tray on the shelves for keys and a bowl for coins. Have two baskets for mail — one for things that need to be dealt with urgently, and another for regular mail. It is also a great spot to keep an umbrella — or sun cream if you use it regularly.
If there are two or more of you in the apartment, the drop zone can be a logical place to leave messages or reminders, so having a small notice board might be ideal.
If you have the space for a small cupboard or standing shelves, then this zone can really earn brownie points. If close to a power point, it would make a handy charging station and place to store electronic equipment. One of the best we’ve seen accesses power points from inside a cupboard – all the cords and plugs are tucked away and the charging happens neatly out of sight. If your devices support wireless charging, this is the perfect spot to position your charging pad.
Many smart apartments these days have drop zones built into the plan, with developers recognising our desire to have some order in our busy lives. But if yours doesn’t, have fun creating a drop zone that suits the way you live and the things you carry. Life should be much simpler once you do.